What could each of us do to incorporate some simplicity into our busy lives? Think back to when you were young, when your life was much less encumbered. Wouldn’t it be nice to try to bring a little peace and quietness back into our lives? By doing this, we are sure to be healthier, happier, and less stressed both in body and soul.
Let’s discover some ways in which to simplify life. A few ideas I’ve learned through experience and gathered from books over the years are as follows:
Observe the beauty in common things.
Celebrate and enjoy the beauty around you. How often do you go outside and take a deep breath and just smell the smells in nature? I’m speaking of freshly cut grass, Carolina jasmine, Roses, Eucalyptus, or the fresh sap from a tree. Nature is full of wonderful aromas. Take notice of them. How often do you listen to the sounds of your surroundings? Do you hear the singing of the birds, the buzzing of bees, the humming of a hummingbird? Do hear the laughter of the neighbor’s kids or your own kids playing outside? Maybe you do, I’m sure there are some people who recognize the beauty around them and rejoice over it. However, I’m just as sure that a lot don’t and that is the unfortunate truth. I encourage you to just take a little time each day to get outside and enjoy and notice your surroundings.
Do you know when you have enough?
Today, society stresses the importance of acquiring “things.” We have to have a cell phone, an MP3 player, a DVD player, a nicer car, a nicer house, more money, and more friends, more everything. It seems the average person never thinks they have enough. People strive to work harder to keep up with their neighbors. Competition is fierce. When is enough, enough? Really enough is having shelter, food, and clothes. These are our basic needs. How far away is that mentality from where our heads are at today? Eons away, I think. Make the question, “Do I really need more?” a part of your life’s effort. Moderation is the key. Toomuch causes much more stress in your life. Learn to value spiritual things over material things. They cost less, last longer and bring more.
Live in the present.
Enjoy the moment you’re in. Don’t rush through one thing to get to the other. I’m guilty of this. Many times, I catch myself saying on Monday, “I can’t wait until Friday.” This is so wrong, and I’m going to make a conscious effort to change my way of thinking. I want to enjoy every day God gives me, not just the weekends.
Learn the art of saying no.
Ditch the mentality that it is a sin to say no. Stop letting clubs, friends, extended family, or who ever dictate what you have to do. If you’re asked to do something or be in charge of some function, and you don’t have time to, don’t want to, or simple are not feeling well, just say no. The world won’t end, you won’t be struck by lightening, and you won’t lose a true friend over it. You should not feel obligated to cater to everyone who asks something from you.
There is a time to do something and a time to do nothing.
Silence is golden. Seek it and it will quietly enrich your life. Don’t let guilt keep you from sitting on the porch, talking to a neighbor, having a cup of tea, or just sitting quietly alone for awhile. We are entitled to ‘rest’ our bodies and minds. We owe it to ourselves. What does it matter if you haven’t dusted, or vacuumed today? There will be time for that. Plan work time and rest time. Your body will thank you for it. Getting alone for a time is one sure way of getting yourself together.
Don’t take your life too seriously.
Trust in God. No matter what we think, we are not in charge over our lives. Sure God gives us free will to make choices, but in the end, He can alter the course of our lives anytime He chooses. Just let go of ego and let God steer your life. There will be a lot less to worry about if you live this way.
When you plant tiny seeds in the small space given to you, you can change the whole world, or at least your view of it.
Change your perspective.
How we look at life and circumstances greatly affects their outcome. There are three ways in which to respond to every situation. We can think about it, feel toward it, or act on it. According to What Is Perspective Power? By Steve Bedwell, a motivational speaker, these three responses are a reflection of our perspective or (view) of the situation. For example, if a homeless person only has a can of beans and saltines to eat, he could think about how poor and pitiful he is, or he could feel anger that it is all he has to eat or he could act or pretend as if he is eating a steak instead of beans and be content. The outcome is all tied to our perspective. Nothing is too difficult in life if we have the right perspective on it.
I sincerely hope this article will give someone a new perspective, and add some simplicity in their life.